Zille's army request 'receiving attention'

The Presidency has received Premier Helen Zille's letter requesting the army to help fight gangsterism.

"Pupils from St George Primary in Lavender Hill are sent home because of gang violence. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Presidency on Tuesday said Premier Helen Zille's request for the army to be deployed to gang-stricken suburbs was receiving attention.

Earlier this week, the premier wrote to President Jacob Zuma asking for troops to be deployed to Hanover Park and Lavender Hill.

Over the last six months, between 30 and 40 people lost their lives to gang violence.

Zuma's spokesperson Mac Maharaj said, "I can confirm that we received the letter from the premier of the Western Cape today [Tuesday] and it is receiving attention. The premier will be notified of the president's decision in due course."

Meanwhile, the Defence Department said there were legal processes involved before the army could be deployed inside the country's borders.

The department's Siphiwe Dlamini said once Zuma has received Zille's request, he would contact the ministry directly.

"The president would be advised accordingly by both the minister and the chief of the army, when they've made an assessment."

Many Cape communities have been plagued by gang violence in recent months.

Women and children have also been caught in the crossfire.

A three-year-old girl was shot six times in Hanover Park over the weekend, while an eight-year-old was killed last week.